I’m betting that everyone has a favorite shirt, sweater, jacket, hat…well some article of clothing or accessory much like that. You still have it and as you sort through your clothes each season, the notion that it share the same fate as your old socks and undershirts, as a rag for polishing metal or scrubbing cabinets, is inconceivable (yes I know what that word means). Are those clothes replacing that security blanket from years ago? Are they part of a timeless fashion like blue jeans and ornate codpieces?
In any matter, whatever item you do have, I would also bet that it fits you like a glove (unless it is a pair of gloves, or one glove covered in rhinestones if you grew up in the mid 80’s), in which case it just fits.
So in my defense of this
hoarding sentimentality, I present my Yankees t-shirt…
…and the story behind it.
My father and I went to Yankee Stadium in 1990. It was one of my first times there, and one of many that we would go to in the next few years – the Yanks were in almost last place [still better than the BoSux!], tickets were dirt cheap and always available.
I wanted a Yankees shirt, but not just any one off a shelf at Modell’s. Hell no! ‘Authentic’ meant buying it at the Stadium. Oh, and it had to be a jersey with the player name and number. Which is strange because the Yankees never post names on their home or away jerseys.
“So which one do you want?”, my dad asked.
Without missing a beat, “Mattingly.” Duh. Don Mattingly was the sole star in a ragtag team of bad trades (Matt Nokes) and unknowns (Chuck Cary). Again, a bad team, but not as bad at the BoSux. I never called him “Donnie Baseball” – that’s just a terrible nickname.
As the season, the games and the years went on, I would wear it whenever I could, sometimes even the moment it came out of the wash, and took care of it – never had that case where they were on a winning streak and I thought it was due to my shirt, so I wouldn’t wash it for weeks (though I do that with my Jets/Titans sweater now) I was extra careful eating, drinking, handling sharp objects (especially cat claws). I don’t know what my lifetime record of wins/losses was when attending games, but considering I was a teenager and you know how they typically feel about hanging out with their parents, those were good times spent together.
Once I realized that the shirt was almost threadbare, I decided it was time to ‘hang it up’ (something that many athletes could take note of). Always safely tucked away in a drawer, the shirt only gets worn during World Series games in which the Yankees are playing, and in the case of a World Series parade, as the first layer of fan gear when I attend. Oh, and hand wash only.
And so there it is, over 24 years old. Here’s to 24 more better seasons than the goddamn Red Sux.
I’ll add that I have a Yankees jacket, sweater, and hat which have seen just as many years on them as well. I’ll save those stories for another time ;).
In the meantime, I want to hear your story of a favorite/memorable clothing item.